An Oxford University professor is challenging Affymetrix Corp’s claim to be the inventor of the deoxyribonucleic acid chip (CI No 3,154). Professor Ed Southern has said the US company, which is part owned by Glaxo Wellcome Plc, is not the inventor, and that he invented the DNA chips and has a European patent, which is currently assigned to the university. The Financial Times says Affymetrix has begun discussions with Professor Southern to agree a licensing deal. Oxford University’s Gene Technology department is said to be near to launching its own product, but the Professor has said he will be granting licenses to other companies in a bid to encourage competition. The chips have been designed for rapidly analyzing human make-up and contain silicon and pieces of DNA.